Exxon posts first profit in five quarters

Top U.S. oil producer Exxon Mobil Corp on Friday posted its first profit in five quarters, boosted by rising oil prices that offset costs from a February deep freeze in Texas.

Exxon and its rivals are seeing a lift from crude prices, up by a third this year, as economies start to recover from the pandemic and fuel demand increases.

Exxon is trying to recover from a historic annual loss last year and fend off a proxy fight over board seats at its annual shareholder meeting next month.

Net income attributable to Exxon was $2.73 billion, or 64 cents per share, in the first quarter, compared with a loss of $610 million, or 14 cents per share, a year earlier.

Exxon shares, which have climbed 35% since January, were down 1% to $58.31 in premarket trading.

Exploration and production, Exxon’s largest business, earned $2.6 billion in the first quarter on higher oil prices, compared with a profit of $536 million a year earlier.

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